A CHILD aged just seven was the youngest of 165 pupils who have been caught carrying a knife in school since 2012, West Yorkshire Police have revealed.

The figures, released under a Freedom of Information request, show the number of children arrested in the county for possessing a bladed weapon at school have risen year-on-year since 2013.

Police also found two eight-year-olds with a blade, eight youngsters aged nine, and four 10-year-olds.

The most serious Bradford case covered by the statistics is the stabbing of supply teacher Vincent Uzomah at Dixons Kings Academy on June 11, 2015.

A 14-year-old boy was was given six years’ detention with an extended five-year licence period after he stabbed the 50-year-old teacher in the stomach before fleeing the school and boasting about what he had done on Facebook.

A hearing at Bradford Crown Court heard the boy had told a friend the previous day that he was planning to stab a teacher and took a knife with a “substantial blade” into school on June 11. He stabbed Mr Uzomah after a row over his mobile phone, the court was told.

Ian Murch, of the Bradford National Union of Teachers, said yesterday: “There’s two sorts of crime; children who are personally disturbed and also a situation where children carry knives because of a youth culture they have become a part of. That’s what we have to try our best to control.

“It’s a problem, but that is over five years and the vast majority of teachers aren’t going to come across children with a knife. There’s no easy answers and there’s no solution to it at the moment.

“It’s not at the stage where we have to search every child who comes into school, but there needs to be a plan to educate children about gang culture and knife crime.

“These statistics don’t tell you that it’s dangerous to be in a classroom or that levels of violence in the classroom is rising.

“We have to make sure that crime like this isn’t growing in West Yorkshire like it is in London and children feel safe to report anything.”

In a bid to tackle knife crime, West Yorkshire Police has taken part in the Safer Schools Partnership to work with everyone involved with schools.

This involves officers working in classrooms to warn pupils about the dangers of knives.

Det Supt Chris Gibson said: “Knives aren’t the answer and I have seen first-hand the devastation using a knife can have, not just for victims and the families of victims, but for.

“Statistics have shown that if you carry a knife for protection, you are putting yourself in danger as it is likely to be used against you – around a third of knife-related injuries are caused by the victim’s own knife.

“There is no space for knife crime in West Yorkshire and those found to be carrying knives will be arrested, charged and risk being sent to prison.”